Delyan Peevski: Capital airs another fake news against him

Ivo Prokopiev

The backstage circle of power brokers has reached new heights of impudence, now they defy the transparency of the judicial system. Almost a week after the editors-in-chief of five national newspapers met with the representatives of the judicial power to discuss how to ensure more transparency in the work of Themis, the flagship of the oligarchic media circle, Capital, came out with an openly libelous article against the initiative and, according to the old tradition, implicated Delyan Peevski in it.

The author of the article chews over the conversation that took place and attempts to convince the readers that the discussion went on in the atmosphere of secrecy and behind-the-scenes scheming. Not to break the tradition, the name of the MP of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and publisher of Telegraph Media was again dragged in, with the sole aim to bind their consecutive lie with his name in Google search engine. On top of everything Peevski himself did not even attend the meeting and has nothing to do with the five publications whose reps were there. To a certain extent, the “confusion” has one reason – the journalists of Capital are used to conform to the talking points, as transpired from the letter of their publisher Ivo Prokopiev with a list of theses sent down to the journalists from the weekly. However, the practice adopted in the independent and free newspapers which attended the meeting is different, as their only aim is overcoming the feeling of lack of justice and transparency in the judicial power permeating the entire Bulgarian society.

Another moment which the Capital has missed is, that contrary to their manner of action, the news about the meeting in the Supreme Judicial Council was reported by the institution itself and by the media which attended it. The reaction of Capital, however, is understandable – for long time now the media outlets gravitating to oligarch Ivo Prokopiev and his cronies Ognyan Donev, Tsvetan Vassilev and Sasho Donchev have been desperately trying to bring it home to the general public that in Bulgaria all media and the judicial power work under unbearable pressure and are severely censored, so only the abovementioned indicted bosses and their protegees can “resolve these problems”.

These same people even managed to push through a passage published in the latest EU monitoring report on Bulgaria saying that media freedom in Bulgaria is so much oppressed that it impedes the country’s progress in judicial reform. The author of the above statement is no other but a faithful servant of Capital, chair of the Supreme Court of Cassation (SCC) Lozan Panov, who even went on a victory lap around several EU institutions to lobby against Bulgaria. Apropos, Panov was the only man in the big trio of the judicial system and the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) who did not attend the meeting of the judicial power reps with media, no matter that he had an explicit invitation to it.

At the same time, the article in Capital betrays another kind of hypocrisy – the editors-in-chief of the five newspapers were accused of being toadies of powers that be, who attempt to penetrate the judicial power behind the scenes. Notwithstanding that Economedia itself boasts a long and shameful experience in doing exactly that – trying to slip between the sheets of the establishment. And then distribute ministerial chairs from there, for instance. Just for reference we would like to remind that incumbent PM Boyko Borissov admitted in one of his interviews that in his first cabinet there were “five or six ministers tipped by Ivo Prokopiev”. The oligarch himself has a cheek to confess on national air that he called up the premier to seek “cooperation” when he was indicted for the EVN affair and the ACCIAF arrested his BGN 200m of illegal origin. Economedia often hosts all sorts of events which gather top officials and businessmen and even make the participants pay “entry fee” of BGN 700. Apart from that, the journalists of the same group rather often show off as lecturers preaching proper media behaviour. Including to the representatives of the judicial power.

Meanwhile, against the backdrop of flat denial by chair of the Supreme Court of Cassation Lozan Panov to sit at one table together with his colleagues and reps of the media and discuss the possibility for enhancing transparency in court rulings, the Pravosadie (Justice) NGO linked with the Fake News Factory announced the next in row rally in support of Panov. The argument is that he is the only man who stands for the “independence of the court from the politicized majority in the panel of the Supreme Judicial Council which caters to the interests of the oligarchy”.

It became clear to what extent the personality of the Supreme Court of Cassation chair corresponds to this characteristic after his refusal to attend the meeting dedicated to the Justice in the Light initiative and also thanks to the fact that he ordered an inspection in the Specialised Appellate Court related to cases concerning measures of restraint for the criminal defendants charged with grand bribery, namely ex-mayor of the Mladost district in Sofia Desislava Ivancheva and her deputy Bilyana Petrova.                

The inspection was ordered at the moment when proceedings on their measure of restraint were still underway which gave rise to grounded doubts that the inspection was a form of pressure on the part of Panov. It is exactly for this reason that the panel of judges of the SJC handed over the chair of the SCC to the SJC inspectorate so that the inspectors could say whether No.1 Judge violated the principle of judicial power’s independence. The inspectors have not concluded their work yet and no results have been reported but in spite of that Justice for All NGO decided to stage a rally preemptively. Evidently being sure that in this way they will exert pressure over the SJC inspectorate.

Such racketeers’ ploys are not something new for this organization, it is their tradition to support the arguable actions of Panov which run contrary to the legal regulations in Bulgaria. The very NGO is directly connected with Hristo Ivanov. The failed justice minister and current leader of Yes, Bulgaria, a party financed by the oligarchy, is Panov’s partner who shares his views and political mentors. Ironically, it was exactly him who exposed the shady past of the SCC chair’s wife – Betty Panova and dubbed her the Black Swan in the verbatim records of the ARGO-gate. These records have exposed the network of political engineers developed by indicted oligarch Ivo Prokopiev and his assistants. It has also transpired that the group was discussing an option for proposing Panov’s candidature for president of Bulgaria during the latest general election.

Against this background, the claims that chair of the SCC was the only person who stands for the independence of the court and against its politicizing are more than absurd.   

What have we accomplished?

The media initiative Justice in the Light starts off after the next in a row incident of inexplicable not-guilty verdicts, those pronounced on the Alabin case. As a result a meeting of Boyan Magdalinchev, representing the Supreme Judicial Council, Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov, chair of Supreme Administrative Court Georgi Cholakov as well as members of council and speakers for the judicial and prosecutors’ boards Tsvetinka Pashkunova and Daniela Masheva with editors-in-chief of five national newspapers – Monitor, Telegraph, 24 Hours, Trud and Standart. 

The main topic of discussion was exactly the improvement of communication with media, raising public information awareness about the activity of the judicial power authorities. During the meeting it was agreed that the SJC will find possibilities to work out new approach to judges which will encourage the jury panels working on concrete cases to appear in public via media, to explain the considerations on which they base their rulings. During the conversation the measures and steps the SJC took towards the improvement of the information policy were presented along with the pro-active approach to communication with media. The participants shared the idea of holding joint meetings with top administrators and the broadest circle of journalists writing about issues relevant to information policy, public awareness about the activity of the judicial system and institutions, and welcomed the idea for organizing joint training courses.      



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